Being overweight or obese increases your risk for serious health conditions like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other conditions. It can also have a negative impact on your quality of life, self-esteem, and relationships. And that’s no way to enjoy all the Port Jefferson area has to offer.
Most people who visit our practice have already tried a long list of fat diets to lose weight. Many achieve short-term success with these types of diets. But studies show that about 80 percent of people who take this approach to weight loss are yo-yo dieters who typically gain the weight back over time.
Fortunately, new techniques in weight reduction surgery can change your eating habits, promote weight loss, and keep the weight off for good. You may be a good candidate for LapBand surgery or a sleeve gastrectomy. Until recently, these procedures were considered invasive but advances in technology have made these life-changing procedures safer and easier with Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery (SILS).
What is Lap Band Surgery
What happens? For weight-reduction surgeries where the SILS technique can be used, one small incision is made near the lower part of your abdomen. When possible, this small cut about one-inch across is made inside you belly button. Then the medical instruments and equipment needed complete the surgery are inserted through this small incision. Once the tools are in place, miniature video cameras help the surgeon see your stomach from multiple angles to complete the procedure.
The ability to perform certain weight-reduction surgeries using SILS is a game-changer. It was first used for surgeries related to the appendix and uterus. Two decades later, the technique has been refined and is now used for many other procedures, including weight-reduction surgery. Whenever possible, the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons recommend SILS as the preferred approach to weight reduction procedures for a variety of reasons such as: such as:
Fewer scars – Before SILS was widely used in the operating room, surgeons sometimes had to make multiple incisions or very large incisions to complete a procedure. SILS makes it possible to apply a LapBand or complete sleeve gastrectomy surgery through a tiny incision with very little scaring.
Reduced pain – With only a single incision used in a SILS for weight reduction, only a few sutures are required after surgery, and patients experience less pain than when invasive surgical techniques are used.
Lower infection risk – As with any surgical procedure, there’s always some measure of risk involved. But the risk for infection from bacteria, germs or harmful viruses is significantly minimized by using SILS to perform weight reduction surgeries.
Better health – SILS procedures like LapBand and sleeve gastrectomy have a dramatic impact on appetite and weight loss, beginning shortly after surgery. One recent study found that SILS for weight reduction helped people lose about 50% of their excess fat and keep it off for more than a decade.
SILS for obese people may also help with:
- Preventing or controlling type 2 diabetes
- Reducing high blood pressure
- Lowering the risk for heart disease
- Improving sexual function
- Boosting self-esteem
- Enhancing overall quality of life
Improved Recovery Time
Recovery time for overweight or obese patients who undergo Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery to lose weight is different from person to person. However, the small incision heals in about a week for many patients.
Lap Band surgery is the least invasive SILS procedures used for weight reduction. Patients whose stomach is restricted with the Lap Band often return to work in about a week. After about 6 weeks, most resume all normal activities.
Sleeve gastrectomy takes longer to recover from because a portion of the stomach is removed as part of the procedure. However, after about two months following a SILS sleeve gastrectomy, most people resume their every-day activities.
Barring any complications, which are uncommon, Lap Band surgery or a sleeve gastrectomy can be performed in about two hours or less in the operating room. Most patients spend one to two nights in the hospital following one of these weight reduction surgeries.
Preventing infection is important with any surgical procedure, including SILS weight reduction procedures. However, infection following weight-reduction surgery using SILS is rare according to a recent study.
In addition, other risks associated with weight reduction surgery that patients have experienced include reactions to medications, internal bleeding, or complications afterwards. In most cases, it’s rare to experience serious side effects following weight-loss surgery, but it’s important to know the risks.
After a SILS procedure like the Lap Band or sleeve gastrectomy, some people develop digestive problems, but they’re often temporary. Changes to your stomach alter hormone levels, appetite, and the amount of food you eat, and it can take a while for your body to adapt.
For Lap Band patients, sometimes the band placed around the stomach can start to slip following surgery. This will require an adjustment, but it usually isn’t serious. There are a few more complications that could occur following sleeve gastrectomy surgery such as leaking, developing an abscess, or a problem with blood flow. Fortunately, medical data collected on SILS procedures suggest that less than 5 percent of obese patients experience complications.
Foods & Diet After Surgery
Unlike liposuction, you’re going to look the same after SILS for the Lap Band or a sleeve gastrectomy. But you’ll feel different, and notice an immediate change in your appetite. You won’t be as hungry as you used to be.
For the first 1-2 weeks, you’ll mainly follow a liquid-only diet and drink small amounts of broth, non-fat milk, and water. Then you’ll slowly be able to add other food to your diet like mashed potatoes, yogurt, or cooked fruits and vegetables in puree form. Eventually, you’ll eat add small amounts of soft food to your diet like fish, beans, lean meat, and eggs.
It’s a major transition that will require some patience to work through, and it’s important to follow your doctor’s advice to maximize weight loss and improve your health. Fortunately, most people adjust to their new diet and way of eating within a few months or less.
Follow-Up Medical Care
For Lap Band patients, you’ll visit your doctor every 3 to 4 months following surgery to have the band adjusted. Your doctor will make a single incision and adjust the band around your stomach to tighten or loosen it or reposition it if necessary. After the initial band adjustment period, you should see your doctor every six months for a follow-up.
If you live in the Port Jefferson area and you’re overweight or obese, you may be a candidate for weight reduction surgery using SILS for the Lap Band or sleeve gastrectomy. Contact the New York Bariatric Group for more information.